Henry Ford Health System warns of 'spoof' calls targeting Macomb hospital

Noelle Gray
The Detroit News

Macomb — Henry Ford Health System says phone calls that appear to be from Henry Ford Macomb Hospital offering refunds are "spoof" calls trying to glean personal information.

Hospital operators have been fielding up to 200 calls a day from people who believe they’ve received calls from the hospital’s main phone number, which is (586) 263-2300, or from a former Henry Ford doctor. The callers then tell people they are owed money and request banking information in order to issue a "refund," the hospital system says.

“We don’t believe callers are identifying themselves as a representative of Henry Ford, but we are very concerned that scammers are using our number in a fraudulent way,” said John Fowler, interim chief information privacy & security officer for Henry Ford Health System. 

The Federal Communications Commission recommends consumers ignore calls from unknown numbers.  

“If you’re not expecting a call from the hospital, you can ignore it,” Fowler said.  “If we need to get in touch, we will leave you a voicemail message.”

Henry Ford says it is not aware of anyone who has been victimized by the calls. 

"My recommendation is if somebody did fall for the scam and gave out their personal information, the first thing they should do is get a hold of their bank and let them know what occurred." said Fowler.

“Spoofing” is when callers deliberately falsify the information transmitted to caller ID displays to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is from a local number or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that people may already know and trust.

“This is extremely concerning," Fowler said. "We want people to trust that when they get a call from Henry Ford, we are reaching out to them with important information about their health."

Due to the volume of people checking on the legitimacy of the calls, the hospital has had phoneline challenges, Fowler said. 

Anyone who receives such a call should file a complaint with the FCC.